TCS Proteus Plus 256GB Military/Industrial Ruggedized SSD Review


Being a SATA II SSD, throughput is limited by the interface. 250MB/s reads and 205MB/s sustained writes should be attainable at all capacity points, just like random performance.

The Proteus Plus is not given a TBW figure, or drive writes per day figure for endurance, but 100,000 PE cycles * 256GB = 25 Petabytes, assuming a write amplification factor one 1. WAF that low is not achievable by the the Proteus Plus, but then, 100K PE cycles is when MWI expires. Real endurance could be much greater.

The high storage and operating temperatures, endurance, and performance are all imparted upon the TCS by Single Level Cell flash. SLC has lower latency, bit errors, and much greater endurance with higher operating temperatures.

We have the model TSDEP25S256AINN. Ours is the industrial version, as denoted by the lack of an “M” in the model number (ours gets an “I” instead). Military versions are burned-in at 85c for 96 hours, while the industrial version gets only 8 hours in the sauna. These types of burn-ins help screen out any defective parts or “workmanship issues” before shipping, but that’s the only difference between the military and industrial monikers.


TCS builds their drives to US military specifications. The MIL-810 spec has evolved over the years, but the basic purpose is to establish a standard to help make products that work in harsh conditions. MIL-810 covers fungus, salt fog, rain, vibration, shock, and humidity among other things. Compliance testing is performed by third-party labs, as it would be pretty hard for anyone to simulate gunfire vibration properly.


The software we will be using for todays analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consist of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal DiskMark, AS SSD, Anvil Storage Utilities, and PCMark Vantage.  We rely on these as they each have a way of supporting one another yet, at the same time, adding a new performance benchmark to the total picture.  Much of the software is free and can be downloaded simply by clicking on the linked title.



 The Proteus Plus has the same great SMART data seen in other Barefoot-controlled drives. Read and Write counters, program/erase/read failures, and average erase count are all extraordinarily useful attributes. Indilinx drives not using the original base Cognac FW (like OCZ’s newer Arowana drives).


ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW data, which removes the file system overhead. For our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with zero-fill data rather than random and shows better performance than benchmarks which operate through the file system.


The RAW emulation is getting limited on the larger block sizes by the SATA II interface. I wonder how many tanks or nautical vessels have SATA III yet? The Proteus maxes out the interface at 128K transfers with no filesystem overhead to get in the way.



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    Interesting. I’m curious as to why these ‘military’ units aren’t moistureproofed and dustproofed. There’s a gap at the SATA connector that would let in either.

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    TCS offers several options to improve resistance to moisture and dust. We offer conformal coating of the PCB with either silicone, urethane or Parylene coating. We also offer a sillicone gel fill of the entire SSD, which makes the unit waterproof. We often demonstrate such a drive sitting in a fish tank at tradeshows. The gaps you note around the connector are filled with RTV before the “tub” is filled with the gel.
    The gel is not removable, so as Christopher notes it would have interfered with their abillity to review the drive.

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      Christopher Ryan

      If the Proteus Plus had been fully optioned out, I wouldn’t have been able to get the drive apart without an anvil, crowbar, blowtorch, and probably a shotgun.

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    Um, “as it’s SATA II interface “. It’s = it is. Please take the time to get basic apostrophe usage right. No matter how thorough your review might be, if you get basic English like this wrong, it makes me wonder what else you overlooked.

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    Indilinx eh? Is that the Barefoot 3 or something more ominous. lol

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